Canal House’s Carrot Soup
Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton’s latest cookbook, Canal House Cook Something: Recipes to Rely On, is a lesson in effortless, adaptable dinners. Take this carrot soup, for instance: With three steps and fewer than ten ingredients, it’s easy to whip up on a weeknight and even easier to riff on.
A word of advice from the authors: “Pureeing hot soup in an electric blender can cause the lid to blow off—scary and dangerous! The steam from the hot soup builds up when whirling it smooth. Cooling the soup a bit first and working in small batches helps prevent this, or remove the stopper in the center of the blender lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel (this allows the steam to escape), then puree away.”
Once you’ve mastered the original recipe, Hirsheimer and Hamilton have three suggested variations. For a chunkier soup, skip the blender and mash the vegetables with a large spoon, then garnish with lemon zest and chopped fresh herbs. Or add 2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, along with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, for a lemony soup. For a carrot cumin soup, add 1 tablespoon cumin seeds and garnish with yogurt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
See? The world—er—carrot soup is your oyster.
Excerpted from Canal House, Copyright © 2019 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.
4 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
Wide strips of peel from ½ lemon
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the carrot, potato, lemon peel, bay leaves and 5 cups of the chicken stock. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaves. Working in small batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Add some of the remaining 1 cup of stock if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped scallions or fresh chives, if you like.